Questions & Answers / Does child support exist without divorce?

Does child support exist without divorce?

Yes, parents can file to determine support if they never married each other or if they have separated without divorce. The law requires that both parents continue to support the child even if the parents are no longer together. Just because the custodial parent never went to court for formal support does not mean that this obligation does not exist. Be careful in giving generous support without records of what you gave because the parent who does not have a court order can come back and ask for support later, and in some circumstances get it ordered for up to three years in the past, putting you three years behind in making payments before you even start. Even if your co-parent has promised that they’d never come after you for support, if that parent has received state aid in raising the child, the Department of Economic Security will often come after you to seek support on behalf of the child and reimbursement to the state. The authority to do this was given under Title IVD of the Social Security Act.    

While you’re going to court to determine support, it’s also a good idea to determine custody and parenting time issues so that the child will have the opportunity to know and have a good relationship with both parents as the child grows. 


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